Private English Lessons for Professionals


製薬業界で 12 年以上キャリアを持つ Sharon 先生による医療コラムをお届けします。

特集:医療英語 > 第 7 回:Alzheimer's disease and Dementia: Two More Reasons to Watch your Waistline (ウエストラインに注意!)

Sharon BeltrandelRio 先生 Sharon BeltrandelRio 先生

12 年以上製薬業界の第一線で活躍する Sharon 先生が 2004 年 12 月より不定期でコラムを持つことになりました。最近の製薬業界の動きや医療に携わる日本人が英語を話す時に注意すべき点等、比較的自由に書いてもらおうと思っております。書いて欲しい記事などございましたらレッスン中に Sharon 先生にお伝え頂くか までご連絡ください。

Waistlines are increasing all over the world as people exercise less and consume more calories. The dangers of obesity and being over-weight in terms of heart disease, vascular disease and joint pain are well documented. But did you know that there may also be a link between obesity, dementia and Alzheimer's disease?

A study performed by researchers at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden found a direct link between obesity, dementia and Alzheimer's disease. Researchers measured the body mass index (BMI), blood pressure and cholesterol levels of 1,449 middle-aged men and women. A follow-up exam was conducted twenty years later and the study participants' cognitive abilities were measured. Almost seventeen percent of those who were obese at middle age (BMI > 30) developed either Alzheimer's disease or dementia, compared to five percent for those of normal weight. After taking other risk factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol into account, the risk of Alzheimer's disease or dementia was still twice as high from being overweight alone.

The mechanism is not entirely understood, but the vascular problems associated with high blood pressure and cholesterol may affect the brain's ability to function. After all, the brain is one of the most active organs in the human body. The heart pumps about twenty percent of the body's blood to the brain, which uses about twenty percent of the blood's oxygen and fuel. If the heart is not strong or if blood vessels are damaged the brain may not receive all the oxygen and fuel it needs.

More research is needed to better understand the link between Alzheimer's disease, dementia and obesity. In the meantime, people of all ages should maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a balanced diet, exercising and refraining from tobacco. In addition to the well-documented benefits to the heart and vascular system, as well as the prevention of chronic diseases such as diabetes, maintaining a healthy weight may help preserve cognitive function.

Discussion questions

  1. Please summarize the article. What is the main point of the article?
  2. What are some of the dangers of being obese or over-weight?
  3. What were the results of the long-term study performed at the Karolinska Institute?
  4. Why might vascular problems affect the brain?
  5. What are the benefits of maintaining a healthy lifestyle?
  6. What advice would you give to someone who is trying to lose weight?


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